Monday, July 14, 2008

D.J. Coffman Will Draw Anything For $2

A few years back, I challenged some of the artists on a Sci-Fi forum that I frequent to draw my two favorite authors in furious combat. They correctly dismissed my idea as silly and I eventually forgot about it.

About a week ago, though, I was browsing the Digital Webbing forums, when I came across a poster advertising a unique service. Apparently, D.J. Coffman, winner of the 2006 Platinum Studios' Comic Book Challenge, is willing to draw anything for $2. Before I thought of what a neat promotional tool this was, I thought of what I would want drawn for two American dollars. The price was low enough that I decided to submit a commission immediately and low enough that I didn't expect much out of it, beside a cool story about how this dude will draw anything for two sawbucks.

After about a week, I received a reply to my request. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of it. Given the relative obscurity of my two subjects, I didn't expect much research beyond a quick Googling on Mr. Coffman's part (the website stipulates that no more than a few minutes will be spent researching the subject). I think that is essentially what I got, but he captured the spirit of my request very well.

While this is no different than what other artists do at comicons everywhere, the low price that Mr. Coffman is charging makes it an enticing proposition. His artwork can be licensed, should the commissioner want to use it in a professional capacity. But, does offering his services at such low prices undermine his credibility as an artist? I don't think so, but I do think that this service is undervaluing what he brings to the table. While it does get his name out there and put money in his pocket, it also shows his willingness to acquiesce to the requests to appeal to the lowest common denominator (me, for example), as the gallery will attest. The inclusion of the concept request on the drawing gives it a quality reminiscent of a "They'll Do It Every Time" strip and, in my opinion, sends it into hacky territory (but just barely!). I am almost certainly reading too much into this.

At the end of the day, I think this is a neat marketing gimick, albeit one that I hope Mr. Coffman won't have to do for long. So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I give you: William Burroughs fighting William Gibson!

Digg this